Spelling Out a Few Things

DailyRandomShit for 2016-06-08

I don’t exactly agree with every point of this essay, but LaMonte M. Fowler pretty much spells out many of my thoughts… One of my biggest feelings is that if your largest effort is on complaining and/or blaming others and not in finding solutions I’m pretty much done with all of the Internet whining. Thank you very much. I’m generally willing to listen, I understand your concerns, but I also know that some folks are all about the fear… sad. jbb

By LaMonte M. Fowler:

I feel the need to drop a little truth on y’all. So buckle up…I’m about to be politically incorrect.

We don’t need to take America back. No one stole it. It’s right here…you’re sitting in it. Chillax.

Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall and we’re not going to deport millions of people and break up families. If you think either one is a good idea, you’re not smart and probably not a person I want to hang out with.

We don’t live in a democracy. Technically we are a Federal Republic. But in reality we are ruled by an oligarchy. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Reading will do you good. You probably need to do more of it.

FoxNews, CNN, and MSNBC have an agenda and are not “fair and balanced” or in any way unbiased. I’ll reiterate…read more. Read newspapers (even online ones). Read lots of opinions and sources and then (stay with me here), THINK! Form your own opinion based on as many facts as your can brain can tolerate.

Speaking of facts…there actually is a difference between facts, opinions, and propaganda. You should learn the difference. (Another opportunity to show off your mad reading skills.)

Science is real. We know things because of science. Don’t be afraid of it. You have an iPhone and Facebook because of science. It’s your friend.

Global warming or “climate change” as the cool kids call it IS REAL. Anyone who tells you it’s not real is not a smart person and probably should not be dressing themselves or caring for children.

Racism exists. And you are probably a little racist and should work on that. Seriously.

American Christians are not under attack. We are not being persecuted. We wield so much power in this country that politicians pretend to be Christian just so we will vote for them. No one is trying to take your bible away from you. The gay people are not destroying our families—we don’t need any help from them, thank you. We do a fine job of that by ourselves. So stop saying we are persecuted. You sound stupid.

Poor people need help. If you’re not helping them but complaining about how the government helps them with your money you are not a nice person.

Be nice to the people who teach your children. Don’t send them nasty emails or yell at them. Their job is 10,000 times harder than your stupid job. You are not a professional educator so just shut your mouth and be thankful someone is willing to teach your offspring.

You don’t know what Common Core is. You think you do, but you don’t unless you’re a teacher. So stop complaining about math problem memes on Facebook. You can’t do the math anyway.

ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. We do not need to rebuild our military. Our military is the strongest, scariest, most badass killing machine the world has ever seen. So stop being afraid and stop letting politicians and pundits scare you.

Guns do in fact kill people. That’s what they are designed to do. If you feel you need a gun to protect yourself in America, you are probably living in the wrong neighborhood and should move before you go out and buy a gun. There are like a billion places to live where you won’t need a gun, or even need to lock your front door.

If you do own a gun, then make sure you know how to use it really, really, really well. Seriously…get some training because you still don’t know how to record stuff with your DVR. Go to the gun range and shoot the thing a lot. Learn how to clean it properly and be able to disassemble it and reassemble it with your eyes closed. It’s a freaking gun and it deserves that level of care, proficiency and respect. And for God’s sake, keep it locked up and away from your kids.

If you are even a little bit crazy, sad, or pissed off…you shouldn’t have a gun. And the Founding Fathers would totally agree with me.

Stop being suspicious of American Muslims. I guarantee the guy sitting next to you in the cubicle at work is probably more of a threat to you than any Muslim. He has to listen to your uninformed ranting day after day and has probably already imagined very colorful and creative ways to end you.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and all the rest are ENTERTAINERS! Stop getting your opinions from them. (Here’s where that reading thing can really be an advantage.)

Stop sharing Facebook memes that tell me to share or else Jesus won’t bless me with a laundry basket full of cash. That’s not how prayer works. And I don’t want money delivered (even from God) in a laundry basket. Nobody ever washes those things out and they just keep putting nasty dirty clothes in them. Yuck!

We are the United States of America and we can afford to house every homeless veteran, feed every child, and take in every refugee and still have money left over for Starbucks and a bucket of KFC.

Unless you can trace your family line back to someone who made deerskin pants look stylish and could field dress a buffalo, you are a descendent of an immigrant. Please stop saying that immigrants are ruining our country. Such comments are like a giant verbal burrito stuffed with historical ignorance, latent racism, and xenophobia all wrapped in a fascist tortilla.

That’s all for now. I feel better.

LaMonte M. Fowler

How The News Is Made

I generally only watch TV news when I happen to be have the TV on or am interest in the latest hurricane heading my way. I also tend to get the news I’m interested in via Twitter and my RSS feeds delivered to my iPad. So when the video below crossed my horizon I was quite intrigued at how perfectly the presenter, BBC’s Charlie Brooker, spelled out the formulaic process of creating a news package. And not to spelling things out too literally, however you feel about the “media elite”, all broadcast news is “packaged news,” as the following video clearly demonstrates:

Another Charlie Brooker video essay, taking a newswipe at American TV Journalism:

The King of Kong & the Ongoing Myth of Objective Documentary Films

This past summer I saw the critically acclaimed documentary, “King of Kong” at the inaugural meeting of a Full Sail documentary film club. Great film. When one of my fellow film viewers confessed that he wanted to punch the antagonist, Billy Mitchell, in the mouth and everyone in the room agree; it was clear that the documentary makers had achieved their goal. I remembered reading comments before watching the film that some critics felt that the film’s editors “crafted” the footage to make Mitchell look a bit worse than he actually was. I didn’t say anything about this at the meeting because everyone else was ready to lynch Mitchell for being such a self-important asshole. In fact, one person was amazed at how well the filmmakers let Mitchell show what a jerk he was. Maybe, or maybe it was just really good editing.

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Is the “Texting While Driving” PSA Too Graphic?

CNET’s Technically Incorrect blog, asked the question about whether makers of the following public service announcement (PSA) went too far depicting the dangers of texting while driving. If one views the video on a “surface” level, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been shown on most American televisions. My guess is that the uproar is this video presents its brief horrific narrative with no villain to blame and no happy ending. The video is disturbing. My fear is that it’s intended audience has already been desensitized to the message and those of us past our middle years, who recognize the preciousness of life, are the ones most likely to get rattled.

blog: Is PSA on texting and driving too shocking? Technically Incorrect blog by Chris Matyszczyk. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10318015-71.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20 retrieved on 9/9/2009

YouTube video: Graphic Crash, UK, Dangers of texting while driving PSA by Peter Watkins-Hughes and the Gwent, Wales police department, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdvFh95Yg6M retrieved on 9/9/2009

The Creative Commons Solution

Part three of my three part media merry-go-round: Creative Commons (Part 1: Copyright; Part 2: Fair-Use; Part 3: Creative Commons). After I’ve scared them to death with the all powerful Copyright, and confused them with the slippery Fair-Use, it’s time calm the nerves with a little common sense Creative Commons. I wish it was really that simple. So, as before the following is the ongoing working prototype for part 3:
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Roll Over Beethoven and Copy… Right!

Part of my course at Full Sail is about media issues, you know, stuff like Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons. The “M” in our program title (EMDT) is Media and my students, who are in their ninth month of a year long Masters degree program, are expected to stare down this huge subject and come up with a reasonable approach to something that I tell them occupies the life’s work of an army of lawyers, policymakers and troublemakers. As I lay down guiding principles to understanding the moving target that is Copyright/Fair Use/Creative Commons the discussions tend to be quite lively and informative for all participants. One thing that I’ve never fully appreciated is how difficult and expensive it can be for teachers who want to follow copyright law who teach band, or theater or any of the other arts.

One teacher wrote in her class blog:
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World Music – nomadak tx

Cultural Anthropologist, Michael Wesch, offered up the following video as a follow-up video mash-up to the viral hit collection “Thru-U” by Kutiman:

It has potential, but seems much less “manufactured” than the Kutiman collection, and a bit less attention to detail, particularly some of the mismatched rhythm tracks. The preceding analysis of course completely misses the point, that this is much more a work that reflects the amazing creativity unleashed when incorporates all of the creativity being released online. This is most definitely “world music.”

Copyright This!

Since the very first month of teaching my graduate media course at Full Sail University my students have struggled with the vagueness and conflicting messages surrounding the topics of copyright and fair use. Tasking educators, many of whom are very new to online anything, to creating an unending number of audio podcasts, videos, blog entries and assorted media projects and then telling them that they cannot use any images, music or videos that they might find on the Internet is like inviting them to a party and then telling them that they are not permitted to having any fun. it’s downright confusing. Then for me to try to be authoritative on what is permitted and not permitted, while knowing that the subjects of copyright and fair use are life-work of an army of lawyers and policy makers, makes the whole thing downright silly.

So after one of our class sessions, one of my more media savvy students made the following comment in his blog:
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